“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.” (Psalms 89:15)
On Sunday, my twin and I spent the entire day on a stretcher in the emergency room. Multiple sclerosis decided to throw a punch.
I was so afraid that my sister was having a relapse.
So afraid of disappointment and discouragement. So afraid that when we thought we might have beat this thing, it would come back to taunt us.
It’s difficult to describe how close our relationship is, except to say that we have shared everything –our mother’s uterus, clothes, eyeglasses, secrets and dreams, Doublemint gum.
In grade school, I fought the world’s scariest bully because she dared to put my sister’s head under the playground merry-go-round… while it was spinning. I was proud to say I got beat up defending my sister’s honor. I would do just about anything to protect her, and even more to see her smile. It is incredibly hard for me now to see her struggle with pain. It kills me to be so helpless.
Her husband was out of town, and I knew we needed to go to the hospital. I thought I was going to be a basket case. I had myself one good cry, and she did, too. And then she was, as she always is, beautiful and strong.
Now, several days later, the pain and discomfort for my sister remain. Simple things like walking, standing on her toes, putting weight on her heels, writing with her left hand are difficult.
We still believe in the power of God to mend.
This morning I was driving my friend, Deb, into Boston for her infusion. She is a patient at the same clinic as my sister, and she was telling me about her on-going battle with MS. Her voice was hoarse: “When I was in rehab all those months and could not walk, it was really, really hard. But you know what? I never lost my praise.”
Praise. To commend, to applaud or magnify. To worship and adore, lift up and glorify the Lord, the only One who is worthy. In the midst of the storm, in spite of the storm… Praise.
I never lost my praise, she said.
My sister and I say in unison (people always think it’s cool when twins say something in unison):
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come…
he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.